Jimmy Carter on brain cancer: 'it's in the hands of God'

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WATCH: Jimmy Carter speaks on cancer diagnosis 

In a news conference Thursday morning, former President of the United States Jimmy Carter announced cancer has spread to his brain.

The 90-year-old spoke at The Carter Center and revealed he has four small spots of melanoma on his brain and he will begin radiation Thursday afternoon. He will have radiation treatments and injections every three weeks. 

"Emory University doctors are working closely with cancer specialists around the country," said Carter. He said he has complete confidence in his doctors and he's grateful that Emory is in charge. 

Carter said he will cut back his work schedule at The Carter Center Drastically and that plan has been in the works for some time now.

When he first learned his cancer spread to his brain, Carter said he thought he only had a few weeks left. He said he was surprisingly at ease. His grandson is taking over as chairman of the board of trustees. 

"I was surprisingly much more at ease than my wife was."

Carter said he found out in May, but didn't tell his wife until June.

At the news conference, Carter appeared to be upbeat and in good spirits. 

"I'm ready for anything and looking forward to a new adventure," he said. "It's in the hands of God."

Carter said he feels good at this point and the "pain is slight." 

With a smile on his face, he said he has received phone calls and well wishes from several former presidents including Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He has also heard from President Obama. 

Last week we first learned that Carter had cancer. He said a surgery to remove a small mass from his liver is what revealed the cancer had spread to other parts of his body. 

His news conference ended in laughter and clapping. 

"Okay I'm leaving, thank y'all very much," he said. 

"Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body. I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare. A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week."

Carter was the nation’s 39th president and after leaving the White House he founded the Carter Center in 1982. It was to promote health care, democracy and other issues globally.


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The Associated Press contributed to this article.